The State Government has revealed an innovative power microgrid to meet the Kalbarri’s power needs.
Energy Minister Ben Wyatt announced the joint venture by Energy Made Clean (EMC) while awarding Lendlease has been awarded a $6.8 million contract for Western Power’s fully renewable energy power project.
“This is a great outcome for the Western Australian economy and the Kalbarri community,” Mr Wyatt said.
“It is a game changer for regional communities who rely on power from a long feeder line, which is subject to environmental factors that can cause outages. The improved reliability for the region will boost the local tourism and retail operations, as well as enhance the lifestyle of residents.”
The 5 megawatt (MWh) microgrid will improve reliability for businesses, local residents and tourists, preventing unplanned outages affecting the town.
“This partnership between Western Power and the EMC/Lendlease JV also supports the Kalbarri community’s desire to be renewable-powered, with this project being one of Australia’s biggest 100 per cent renewable microgrids.”
It will include 4.5MWh battery with a minimum of 2MWh available that will be accessible for reliability back-up services, supplying power to the town when renewable generated power sources are not available.
The local network will be enhanced to allow the town to draw energy from directly from renewable sources including a local wind farm, solar PVs and future renewable generation projects during unplanned outages.
Kalbarri will remain connected to the South West Interconnected System through a feeder line from Geraldton, removing community uncertainty because of environmental impacts.
Construction is expected to start in November with the microgrid fully operational by mid-2019.